I had a pleasure to have colleagues at work for several months, who was doing part-time programme in Chinese medicine after work. Thanks to that I learnt a few things about Chinese medicine – not a regular knowledge but some bits and pieces for everyday life. Some of the main rules I managed to establish are as below.
Rule 1 – Don’t get too hot.
What Chinese medicine means by being hot, or having too much heat, is that your body is hot inside rather than you feel hot yourself. Heat can be caused by some types of food. These foods are for example: lychee, fried foods, nuts, soft drinks, coffee, and any more. Article I found in South China Morning Post, name it as “heaty foods”. Being hot inside makes your immunity go worse and that’s what is to blame if you grow pimples or blisters in your mouth, etc.
Rule 2 – Don’t get too damp.
That is also the dampness inside of your body. Nobody likes humid and hot days of Hong Kong summer and nobody likes to be hot and damp inside of their bodies either. It can cause germs spreading and some other problems with health. As the heat inside of your body, dampness will also be caused by heaty food.
Rule 3 – Don’t get too cold.
General rule of Chinese medicine would be not to eat or drink cold stuff. Generally it’s bad for you and it’s not recommended. That would explain all HK people always drinking hot water and hot drinks even in the middle of summer. Another important thing is to avoid cold food and drinks when you’re menstruating.
Walking streets of Hong Kong, you will notice many medicine shops that have a counter almost outside on a street, like in ice-cream shops, where you can do a shot of herbal tea standing on the street and without having to enter the shop. These herbal teas are medicine to cure heat or dampness in your body. You will find the most common “Five Flower Tea” that will kill the fire in your body. There is a “Flu Tea” if you feel like you might go down with a flu soon. There are few more different medicines as well, all of them having dark, brown colour and some of them being quite bitter.
I tried those herbal teas myself and although I haven’t seen any magical improvement after having it, I do believe it’s good for health and works pretty much as a Panadol would work, so I always go for the Flu Tea when I feel like I’m getting sick.